Washington Wizards free agency continues on the Fourth of July with the team signing former Atlanta Hawk and University of Virginia power forward Mike Scott to a one-year minimum deal.
Not exactly the WojBomb people wanted to start July 4th, but the Wizards keep making small moves to improve their bench.
Fans will remember Scott for a few things. He played at UVA for four seasons, plus a medical redshirt season. His final season he led the Cavaliers with 18 points and 8.3 rebounds, before leading the school to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in five years. He’s a native of Chesapeake, VA, and should enjoy the homecoming.
Because of spending five years in college, Scott will be 29 at the start of next season, despite being drafted in 2012, the same year as 24-year old Bradley Beal. Speaking of Beal, I’d be remiss to not mention this dunk from 2015.
He had a pretty successful NBA career early on, despite playing limited minutes. His best season statistically came in 2013-14, when he averaged 9.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. He only shot 31% from three that season, but he improved that mark over the years to become a more formidable stretch-4 option.
In 2015-16, Scott’s last healthy season, he shot 39.2% on 2.1 three-point attempts per game. This equated to 62 made threes on the season. Hopefully, playing alongside John Wall, he can get back to this high shooting rate. Last season wasn’t as pretty, though.
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Scott missed the start of the season after having procedures completed on his left knee. He played 18 games with Atlanta, before being traded to Phoenix for a top-55 protected second round pick. The Suns waived him, and he’s been searching for work ever since.
So far this offseason, Washington has gone the route of agreeing to deals with players who’ve had success in prior years, before missing significant time recently because of injuries, seemingly to keep salary down. If Jodie Meeks and Scott can stay healthy, they will be nice bench pieces on the team. If the injuries return, we could be looking at a situation similar to the 2015-16 season when key bench pieces like Alan Anderson, could never really contribute.
Considering the Wizards are signing Scott on a veteran’s minimum deal, worth approximately $1.7 million, the agreement probably is a good fit for the Wizards. Still, Washington now finds itself at 14 rostered players, not including restricted free agent Otto Porter, who is expected to return.
They still have some wiggle room with their midlevel exception, but may have to move some of the lower level contracts to free up roster space.
Welcome home, Mike Scott.